I admit it. I bought 4 Mega Millions tickets. I got 2 for the Wednesday drawing and 2 for the Friday. “But Ben, why would you throw away 4 perfectly good dollars.” Two reasons:
1. There is not much risk on the front end. I will not miss $4.
2. The potential rewards are freakishly out of proportion to the risk.
The equation is slightly altered if there is an office pool. The basic math is the same, but there is an additional component of pain avoidance. Nobody wants to be the poor sucker left to manage the office after the pool of recipients has quit without notice.
I know that the odds are astronomical that my $4 will have any impact. But my lizard brain tells me, “Go for it.”
I wonder if this scenario has application in the religious realm. Specifically, I wonder how many people cling to a faith, not because they believe it, but because the potential rewards/punishments are also “freakishly out of proportion to the risk.”
I could easily turn the question back on myself. Am I taking a huge risk by not towing the evangelical line my four score and seven? I am laughing to myself as I write this. Because while the odds are astronomical, I believe there IS a lottery. I can make no such claim on any of many religious lines.